Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Beginning 1071


Natalie soared downwards, wind rushing past her face, hair streaming behind her as she reached the lowest point of the arc. Then pushing her legs out in front of her she willed the swing up higher and higher. The swing reached its highest point. For a split second, she was no longer moving upwards, but not falling either. For a pinprick of time, she was suspended, the miracle of gravity paused.

And she let go. Her hands continued to clutch the rope, but she let go of the swing, of the park, of the world, of this universe.

She let go and she was ‘There’.

Natalie had no idea where ‘There’ was, even though getting ‘There’ was both easy and impossible. Her heart raced as it always did when she jumped into this world, but it soon slowed back to its regular pace.

She scanned the landscape, the familiar-but-strange grey earth and reddish light. To her left, a rusty toaster protruded from the ground. A toaster the size of a garage, its slots gaping skywards as if awaiting mattress-sized bread slices to fall into them. It hadn’t been there last time.

The dream ended suddenly as she hit the cold water. Gasping for air and kicking frantically while swallowing salt water, she thrashed to the surface. Her black hair covered her eyes and while swiping at it, she went under again. 

It was dark, well after midnight, without a moon. Her cries for help could not be heard over the shore party noise. She tried to grab the dinghy but it pulled free of its cleat and drifted away. She banged on the yacht with her petite fists until fatigue set in and poor Natalie Wood slipped down for the final time.


Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Mister Furkles

3 comments:

Evil Editor said...

p1: Downwards is not a direction in which one soars. Try "swooped."

Technically, if we consider gravity paused, it's not just paused for a pinprick of time; it's paused the entire time she's moving upward. Also, is it gravity that's a miracle, or its suspension?

P4: Capitalizing "There" and putting quotation marks around it seem to accomplish the same purpose. I'd go with one or the other. I hope, if the place is mentioned frequently throughout the book, it's going to get a better name.

P5: I'd change "awaiting" to "expecting."

Presumably this is a children's book in which the swing replaces the rabbit hole or the portal or the wardrobe. We don't get a sense of what the plot will be. Maybe if she encountered a character rather than a toaster we'd get into the story quicker, assuming she gets to stay in this universe longer than a pinprick of time.

A minor point: The use of "downwards," "upwards," and "skywards," rather than "downward," "upward" and "skyward," as well as the use of single quotation marks rather than double, and a period outside the quotation marks rather than inside, suggest an author from Britain rather than the US. However, I've been told a "garage" in Britain is a gas station, rather than a building in which to park a car. Of course this may not be true in all countries of the "British Empire," and no one told me what they call a building in which they park a car in Britain, so I can't claim there's an inconsistency.

Here are some other American terms used in the piece, along with British translations:

landscape: moors
toaster: sconecooker
swing: bugger trapeze
mattress: shag cushion

davefragments said...

I like this and would read on.
The language is intriguing.

St0n3h3ng3 said...

They do have garages in Great Britain, but they call them garridges.